If you are looking for healthy, low-carb snacks or appetizers, start here. These Gluten-Free Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are not only delicious and easy to make, but they are also a perfect, healthy option for your next game day or movie night snack.
What is Buffalo Seasoning?
Buffalo Sauce is not named for the animal, but for the city. The city of Buffalo, New York is where Buffalo chicken wings (try my Buffalo Chicken Thighs) are said to be invented. Buffalo sauce is a cayenne pepper & vinegar-based hot sauce combined with melted butter. Or in this case, coconut oil.
What You're Going to Love About This Recipe
There is so much to love about these crisp, spicy little bites!
First, they're baked instead of deep-fried, so you're cutting out a lot of fat and calories, not to mention the greasy cleanup.
Second, they are made with chickpea flour, which is not only gluten-free but also protein and nutrient-packed. You can snack away on these tasty morsels guilt-free.
Finally, everyone is going to love them! These are a crowd pleasing, tasty appetizer that disappear fast.
Here's What You Need To Make These!
I used a small head of cauliflower, which, when cut into florets, yields about 3 cups. This recipe makes enough batter and sauce for a large head of cauliflower if that's what you have. (You may need more than one baking sheet, though)
Chickpea flour works especially well in this recipe, and in any recipe where you are coating something in batter. The chickpea batter bakes up tender, yet crisp and tastes delicious.
Although you can use any hot sauce, they are not all the same. For the most authentic buffalo cauliflower, use a vinegar based sauce, like Franks. I try to avoid "wing" sauces, because they usually contain artificial butter flavour.
Instead of butter, this recipe has coconut oil. It doesn't impart any noticeable coconut flavour and it means that these yummy appetizers can be enjoyed by everyone. Whether they are vegan, non-dairy, or gluten-free, we have them covered.
How To Make Gluten-Free Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
In a medium bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt.
Add water and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
Add cauliflower florets to the batter and stir well to coat every piece with batter.
Using your fingers, or tongs, shake off any excess batter. Place the cauliflower pieces, spaced apart, on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cauliflower 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from the oven
Whisk together the hot sauce and coconut oil.
Add the baked cauliflower florets to the hot sauce mixture and stir to coat each piece
Return the hot sauce coated cauliflower pieces to the baking sheet, again, spaced apart. Return to the oven and bake 15 minutes further.
Pro Tips For Perfect Buffalo Bites
- Cut the cauliflower florets about 2-3 inches (about 2 bites) for the best texture.
- Don't over-coat the pieces. Each cauliflower floret needs just a thin coating of batter to ensure that they will be crisp when they're baked. After tossing the florets in the batter, shake off any excess batter before you place them on the baking sheet.
- Use a hot oven. A hot oven will quickly crisp the outsides without overcooking the cauliflower pieces.
- Line the baking sheet with foil. Don't use parchment, which isn't rated for oven temperatures above 420°
- Spray the foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Don't crowd the pieces, spread them out on the baking sheet with space between them.
- Turn the cauliflower pieces halfway through the first baking time to ensure even crisping.
- These cauliflower bites are best served right away.
Chickpea flour is perfect for battered recipes like this buffalo cauliflower, but you can use any other gluten-free flour or blend, or even all-purpose flour if you aren't gluten sensitive.
Yes, you can make cauliflower bites in the air fryer. Cook them for 10 minutes at 400°. Then coat them in the buffalo sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Of course, you can expect any buffalo sauce recipe, including this one, to have a kick of spicy heat. However, if you prefer a milder version, just increase the amount of coconut oil and reduce the amount of hot sauce. Do the opposite if you're looking for MORE heat.
Gluten-Free Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- 1 small head of cauliflower cut into florets
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted
- Preheat oven to 450° Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Add the water to the flour mixture and whisk until you have a smooth batter
- Add the cauliflower florets to the batter and stir gently until all of the pieces are coated
- Shake off excess batter before placing each coated cauliflower floret onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between them.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, or until batter is crisp on both sides
- Combine hot sauce and coconut oil in a large bowl. Add cauliflower to the bowl and toss gently to coat with sauce.
- Return the sauce coated cauliflower to the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until they're just starting to brown.
- Serve right away, with ranch, or your favourite dipping sauce, and raw veggies.